This study investigated the impact of personal and organizational factors and performance appraisal methods on 53 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) federal court cases. Discriminant analysis suggested that the employer was most likely to be the successful party when the employee was younger, particularly between 40-49 years old. Appraisal system characteristics which in previous studies were found to be significantly related to case outcome, were not reported in these case decisions. Traditional legal case analysis was used to explore the relationship of performance appraisal methods and the personnel action giving rise to the complaint.